3. If the property is co-owned by a party and his/her mother (a) in a joint tenancy or (b) in a tenant in common, how would the party's interest be considered by the court in granting ancillary relief?
Only the party’s share in the property would be taken into account by the court, regardless of whether he/she holds it as a joint tenant or tenant in common. In a case where the property is equally co-owned by the party and his/her mother, only 50% of the value of the property would be counted as matrimonial assets and be calculated. This means, the remaining 50% interests in the property will still belong to the mother.
The party’s share would be subject to division when the court decides the order for ancillary relief.
The party holding the property may argue that it is a non-matrimonial asset and should not be included in the matrimonial pot for division.
Some factors that may taken into account by the court when deciding whether the property is matrimonial or not include:
- When the property was purchase – before or after the parties’ marriage?
- Who has lived in the property and for how long.
- Whether the spouse of the party who co-owns the property was allowed to use and live in the property.
- How the property was purchased and who funded the purchase.
Whether there was a specific purpose for purchasing the property.